Who Controls the Finances on Separation ?
My spouse has always taken control of the finances how will I cope if I separate ?
Each family’s financial situation is different for example if an immediate requirement for funds is necessary, a District Court application can be made whenever the court sits. If the matter is an emergency then the Court will take it as soon as possible. Generally each area has a family law list which comprises of maintenance applications and access applications in relation to children. Once an order is made it becomes payable through the local Court Office who receive the money on foot of the court order. This is then paid out to the spouse. Failure to the Court Order means the person who must pay can be arrested and brought to court and jailed for failure to comply .
If the family needs are greater than the amount is covered in the District Court then Circuit Court application is necessary. Only Circuit Court can deal with separation orders. The District Court is the lowest court. The Circuit Court is the next court dealing with larger amounts and separation and divorce orders. The High Court can hear all legal matters but generally in Family Law only cases with substantial assets.
If an application for maintenance is brought the Court will require evidence of earnings so gathering of evidence before a decision to separate would be useful. In particular details of salary earned by your spouse together with other levels of spending. Details of credit card bills provide clear evidence of a spending pattern. Spending money on other interests not related to the family home would give the Court clear evidence that funds are available for maintenance of the spouse and children if there is a refusal to make suitable allowances by the main breadwinner. Few spouses who are the main salary in the come to court agreeing to pay the cost of running a home . Various excuses are given as to what must be paid in priority. Judges will ensure family expenses are prioritized .
The Court can order the deduction of earnings from the Paying spouses employer. This is paid to the Court Office and on to the Applicant who had to come to Court to seek Maintainance .